In 2017 as we celebrate 10 years, the mission of the Women’s Initiative at Eckert Seamans (WIE) remains the same as the day it was founded. Consistent with our firm’s diversity mission, WIE works to develop an inclusive environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. Eckert Seamans has long championed a supportive atmosphere for women in the law, embracing uniqueness in background, experience, and viewpoints. This credo has allowed the firm’s women to cultivate careers, challenge their legal skills, rise to partnership, become leaders as well as role models, and give back to the community and the generations that follow.
Co-Chairs Sandra R. Mihok and Elizabeth Martin Colombo lead the Women’s Initiative at Eckert. WIE chapters in each of the firm’s offices come together to exchange information, ideas, and common experiences while helping to promote recruitment, retention, community outreach, and networking both within and outside the firm. WIE chapters undertake externally-focused projects ranging from charitable initiatives to premier, client-centered business development events. Internally, WIE’s projects include informal mentoring, collaborating with practice leaders to identify and secure speaking opportunities for women attorneys, and ensuring that women are included in institutional client service teams as well as new business development teams.
WIE focuses its efforts in several areas, including:
- Professional development and career advancement
- Increasing the representation of women in leadership
- Business development
- Work-life balance and flexible working arrangements
WIE embraces the following women-centered practices as ways of implementing these strategies:
- Creating women-centered marketing materials and optimizing women-centered public relations opportunities.
- Identifying and underwriting business development training and opportunities to promote women’s participation within professional, business, trade, and bar associations at the local and national levels.
- Building mentoring relationships between members and associates and encouraging shadowing experiences.
- Developing firm-wide client and new business development initiatives with a focus on the inclusion of women in RFP responses and the integration of women into institutional client relationships.
- Creating networking opportunities with women-owned and women-centered businesses and other clients, service-related organizations, bar associations, and professional schools with similar diversity and inclusiveness initiatives.
- Affirming firm support through the funding of women-centered activities and encouraging participation in activities and community events that highlight the profile of the firm’s women and enhance business development opportunities.
- Sharing information about women-focused events on a local, regional, and firm basis, as appropriate.
- Identifying and promoting women-centered government relations opportunities and election-related activities.
- Organizing efforts to promote our women in local, regional, and national lists of professional achievement and recognition, i.e., Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, etc.
- Fostering team building as a platform for success within the firm and the community and building bridges with male colleagues to promote and enhance collective achievement and success.
Eckert Seamans was named one of the top 50 law firms for women by Working Mother magazine, which recognizes law firms that have demonstrated a commitment to work-life balance and retaining and promoting women. The rankings are based on six measured areas of firm management: workforce profile, benefits and compensation, parental leave, childcare, flexibility, and retention and advancement of women.
Also, for many years running, the firm has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession through their Honor Roll of Legal Organizations Welcoming Women Professionals program, which honors firms and organizations that help women lawyers continue and advance in their professions. WIE was lauded for undertaking mentoring, charitable causes, and business development activities, and the firm was also recognized for its flexible and innovative employee relations policies.
WIE celebrates all of these achievements as well as the individual achievements of each of its members through the publishing of annual “WIE Year in Review” reports. We hope that you enjoy reading about these successes as much as we enjoy sharing in them.
2017 WIE Year in Review
2016 WIE Year in Review
2015 WIE Year in Review
2014 WIE Year in Review
2013 WIE Year in Review
2012 WIE Year in Review
2011 WIE Year in Review